In an effort to create a cordial relationship between temples in Tamil Nadu and those in other States, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister P.K. Sekarbabu on Monday carried a set of vasthram (clothes for the idols) from the Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore to the Mallikarjuneswara temple in Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh.
“Such offering of gifts of vasthram, which are dhotis and saris that adorn the idols, is common in many temples. For instance, vasthram is sent from Sri Ranganthaswamy temple in Srirangam to the Sri Venkateswaraswamy temple in Tirumala. So also, from the Srirangam temple to the Mariamman temple in Samayapuram. It creates a sort of relationship between the temples, like how we send gifts to relatives and friends,” he said.
The government had proposed to extend this to 10 more temples by which vasthram from Sri Parthasarathy Perumal temple would be sent to the Sri Jagannath temple in Puri and those from Dandhayudhapani temple in Palani to the Ayyappan temple in Sabarimala.
“It was announced in the Assembly this year that the vasthra mariyadhai would be extended to more temples. We have directed the respective temple joint commissioners to discuss with the archakas and bhattacharyas about the possibility of the same,” Mr. Sekarbabu added.
Meanwhile, devotees said the government must first implement the order that temples that do not have the means to purchase vasthram for their deities can collect it from those that have excess vasthram. “There are temples that don’t have enough sets of vasthrams since they don’t get enough devotees who offer vasthrams. There are at least 12,400 one-time puja temples for which the government provides funds. These temples don’t get enough vasthrams. Steps should be taken to ensure that these get vasthrams,” he added.